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Rural Economic Development funds awarded in 13 states.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack in January announced that utilities in 13 states have been selected to receive $18.1 million through USDA Rural Development's Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant program. "Providing capital to support small business development and improve the quality of health care in rural communities is a key part of USDA Rural Development's mission," Vilsack said. "By working with our partners, including utilities, USDA is helping to fund rural infrastructure improvements that will support President Obama's goal of enhancing the quality of community life and helping small businesses compete more effectively."

Rural Development is awarding $14.2 million in loans and $3.9 million in grants to a total of 27 applicants. Funds are allocated to Rural Utilities program borrowers, usually rural telephone or electric cooperatives, which in turn provide loans to local rural businesses and communities. Funding of individual recipients is contingent upon their meeting the conditions of the loan or grant agreement.

The projects are expected to create or save more than 1,800 jobs in Alabama, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota and Tennessee.

Among the fund recipients is Se-MaNo Electric Cooperative in Mansfield, Mo., which is receiving a $740,000 loan to build a rural health clinic and ambulance base in Mountain Grove, Mo. The project is expected to create 15 new jobs.

The Coastal Electric Cooperative of Midway, Ga., will receive a $740,000 loan and a $300,000 grant to help the McIntosh County Industrial Development Authority finance expansion of a local industrial park. The project is expected to create 183 jobs.

A complete list of loan and grant recipients is available on the USDA Rural Development website: http://www.rurdev.usda.gov. USDA Rural Development's mission is to increase economic opportunity and improve the quality of life for rural residents.
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Title Annotation:Newsline: Co-op developments, coast to coast
Publication:Rural Cooperatives
Date:Mar 1, 2009
Words:308
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